CHARLESTON – The administrator of a deceased Monongalia County woman’s estate has asked a state court to determine who is her surviving beneficiary.
Under the terms of Marilyn Huffman’s will, her husband Allen Huffman and son Brian Huffman were named as primary and secondary beneficiaries.
However, both died before Huffman, who died last October.
The third beneficiary listed in Huffman’s will was the “Cheat River Stocking Program.” But there is no entity by that name.
According to research done by administrator William T. Semans, there are at least three organizations that stock fish in the Cheat River or its tributaries: the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Trout for Cheat Inc. and Muddy Creek Recreation Club Inc.
Semans, in a petition filed July 7 in Monongalia Circuit Court, asked the court to determine which of the three is Huffman’s intended beneficiary.
However, the court last month had the case transferred to Kanawha Circuit Court.
Any lawsuit in which a state agency is made a party or defendant must be brought and prosecuted in the circuit court in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Judge James Stucky.
Before being transferred, Muddy Creek Recreation Club asked that it be dismissed from the case.
Muddy Creek wrote in its Aug. 3 answer that it does not stock trout in the Cheat River -- only in the tributary stream of Muddy Creek.
Trout for Cheat, on the other hand, argues it is the “true” beneficiary of the Huffman estate, pointing out that Huffman’s husband was an “avid” trout fisherman and fisherman of the Cheat River.
The non-profit organization, formed solely to stock and promote fishing and tourism in and on the Cheat River, noted in its July 28 answer that it stocks the river six to eight times each year at 18 locations.
Semans is being represented by Morgantown attorney J. Douglas Crane.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number 15-C-1506